First there was Black Friday, and you loved it. Then Cyber Monday (which this year generated about $3.4 million, $1.2 of which were smart phone transactions, according to an analytics firm). Did you know Saturday was claimed for small businesses? Maybe you've heard of Giving Tuesday.
Tomorrow, thousands of Arkansans will act on the unified chorus of charities and nonprofits, and act online. They'll visit websites and click the "Donate" button. Post the deed on social media, hashtag it "WhatWillYouGive" and "GivingTuesdayAR." Friends will urge online friends they may or may not know in real life to get in on the sacrifice.
The woman leading the soft sell is Stephanie Meincke, president of the Arkansas Nonprofit Alliance, and while people should consider the tax benefits of full end-of-year donations (measured in hundreds or thousands), this is a small-contribution campaign.
"Nobody ever should be ashamed of whatever amounts they can give, and frankly, people who can't afford to give great amounts of money, give more generously than people who have a lot more."
"There's been a lot of research that shows when people go shopping, when do you think they get the most thrill out of the shopping experience, particularly online? The only time they get any kind of benefit from it is when they push the button to buy. That does something to the brain chemicals. When it gets to the house, it doesn't [produce] the same feeling. When you wear it it doesn't do the same thing. It's the pushing the button. Well, they have research on the other side, that shows that altruism and giving, your 'high' stays a lot longer than when you're shopping."
Last year these little acts of generosity added up to $1.5 million dollars.
Bobby Ampezzan is managing editor of Arkansas Public Media, a nonprofit journalism project that aims to expand news coverage of Arkansas. Reach him at Bobby@ArkansasPublicMedia.org.